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Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?

DigiTrad:
GYPSY ROVER
GYPSY ROVER (2)
GYPSY ROVER (3)


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Lyr/Chords Req: Whistling Gypsy (3) (closed)


AmyLove 05 Jan 16 - 07:36 PM
Lighter 10 Feb 14 - 08:38 PM
Joe_F 10 Feb 14 - 08:18 PM
Jim Carroll 10 Feb 14 - 02:52 PM
GUEST,Eliza 10 Feb 14 - 01:31 PM
Jim Carroll 10 Feb 14 - 01:13 PM
Van 10 Feb 14 - 09:08 AM
GUEST,Eliza 10 Feb 14 - 08:43 AM
MGM·Lion 10 Feb 14 - 08:20 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Feb 14 - 07:18 AM
Van 10 Feb 14 - 06:24 AM
MGM·Lion 10 Feb 14 - 05:49 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Feb 14 - 05:40 AM
MGM·Lion 10 Feb 14 - 05:26 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Feb 14 - 04:49 AM
MGM·Lion 10 Feb 14 - 04:49 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Feb 14 - 04:39 AM
MGM·Lion 10 Feb 14 - 04:09 AM
MGM·Lion 10 Feb 14 - 04:04 AM
MGM·Lion 10 Feb 14 - 03:55 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Feb 14 - 03:52 AM
MGM·Lion 10 Feb 14 - 03:29 AM
MGM·Lion 10 Feb 14 - 03:19 AM
Van 09 Feb 14 - 09:54 PM
Jim Carroll 09 Feb 14 - 03:04 PM
MGM·Lion 09 Feb 14 - 01:55 PM
MGM·Lion 09 Feb 14 - 01:47 PM
Jim Carroll 09 Feb 14 - 03:16 AM
Van 08 Feb 14 - 10:02 PM
Jim Carroll 08 Feb 14 - 01:15 PM
GUEST,Eliza 08 Feb 14 - 12:44 PM
Jim Carroll 08 Feb 14 - 11:15 AM
GUEST,Eliza 08 Feb 14 - 09:36 AM
Jim Carroll 08 Feb 14 - 09:10 AM
GUEST,Eliza 08 Feb 14 - 05:50 AM
GUEST,John Cowan 08 Feb 14 - 03:51 AM
romany man 15 Sep 08 - 05:21 PM
Richard Bridge 15 Sep 08 - 01:44 PM
Big Al Whittle 15 Sep 08 - 11:14 AM
romany man 15 Sep 08 - 10:03 AM
Big Al Whittle 15 Sep 08 - 05:56 AM
romany man 15 Sep 08 - 05:46 AM
Scrump 31 Jan 07 - 04:30 AM
Tradsinger 31 Jan 07 - 04:22 AM
dianavan 31 Jan 07 - 04:12 AM
Gurney 31 Jan 07 - 01:42 AM
Jim Lad 31 Jan 07 - 12:47 AM
GUEST 30 Jan 07 - 05:01 PM
GUEST,memyself 13 Nov 06 - 09:00 AM
skarpi 13 Nov 06 - 01:27 AM
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Subject: Back to An Spailpín Fánach
From: AmyLove
Date: 05 Jan 16 - 07:36 PM

I've found varying lyrics for An Spailpín Fánach. I'm going to post a couple of them here in case anyone finds them useful and/or has any comments regarding the variations. First, some other links to yet more variations (I'm sure there's a lot of overlap. I haven't examined all these lyrics closely.):


http://songsinirish.com/p/an-spailpin-fanach-lyrics.html

http://www.celticlyricscorner.net/dervish/spailpin.htm

http://www.musicanet.org/robokopp/eire/tanafrao.htm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzMpsFabk_c

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_b1KDWWN_w

http://old.tg4.ie/en/programmes/archive/roisinchambers/spailpin.html

http://old.tg4.ie/en/programmes/archive/mairead-ni-fhlatharta/spailpin-fanach1.html

http://old.tg4.ie/en/programmes/archive/treasa-ni-mhiollain/an-spailpin-fanach.html

http://old.tg4.ie/en/programmes/archive/stiofan-o-cualain/corn-ui-riada-2010.html


And here are the two sets of lyrics I've chosen to post, with the links above the lyrics:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pl2gXHiBIzY

Is Spailpin aerach tréitheach mise
agus bígí soláthar mná dhom,
Mar a scaipfinn an síol faoi dhó san Earrach
in éadan na dtaltaí bána,
Mar a scaipfinn an síol faoi dhó san Earrach
in éadan na dtaltaí bána,
Mo lámha ar an gcéachta a'm i ndiaidh na gcapall
agus réapfainnse cnoic le fána.

Is an chéad lá in Éirinn dár liostáil mise,
ó bhí mé súgach sásta,
Is an dara lá dár liostáil mise
ó bhí mé buartha cráite,
Ach an tríú lá dár liostáil mise,
thabharfainn cúig céad punt ar fhágáil,
Ach dtá dtugainn sin is ar oiread eile
ní raibh mo phas le fáil agam.

Is mo chúig chéad slán leat a dhúithe m'athar
Is go deo deo don oileán grámhar
'S Don scata fear óg atá 'mo dhiadh ag baile
Nár chlois orm in am an gháthair
Tá Bleá Cliath dóite is tóigfear Gaillimh
Beidh lasadh a'inne ar thinnte cnámha
Beidh fíon agus beoir ar bord ag m'athair
Sin cabhair ag an Spailpín Fánach.

Agus bhí mise lá breá ar mhargadh Chill Channigh
Agus tháinig sé go trom ag básiteach
Is tharraing mé isteach is chuir mé cúl le balla
Agus thosaigh mé ag glaoch na gcárta
Mar ghlaoidh isteach orm bean 'a leanna
Ag súil is go nólfainn ma phaighe
Is dheamhan deor dár glaoiadh as sin go maidin
Nach raibh síos in aghaidh an Spailpín Fánach.

Is bhí mise lá breá thíos I nGaillimh
Is bhí an abhainn ag góil le fána
Bhí an breac is an eascain is an beartín slat ann
Is chuile ní dhá bhréachtha
Is bhí mná óga ann go múinte tóigthe
Said a bhí tanaí tláith deas
Ach dheamhan bean óg dhá suidhfinnse leí
Nach gcuirfinn an dubh ar an mbán di.

Agus b'fhuide liomsa lá bhéinn i dteach gan charaid
Ná bliain mhór fhada is ráithe
Mar is buachaillín aerach súgach meanmnach
A bhréagfadh an bhruinneall mhánla
Is a dhá bhean déag a bhí ag éad is ag iomaí liom,
ag súil le tairfe mo láidhe,
B'é paidir na caillí nuair a théinn thar a' táirseach,
"Now behave yourself, a Spailpín Fánach."


http://www.musgrai.com/culthur/amhrain/amhrain12

Im spailpín fanach ' fágadh mise,
A' seasamh ar mo shláinte,
A' siúl a' drúchta go moch ar maidin
Is a' bailiú galair ráithe.
Ní ficfar corán im láimh chun bainte,
Súiste na feac beag rámhainne
Ach colours na Frainc' os cionn mo leapan
Agus píce 'gam chun sáite.

Go deo, deo 'rís, ní raghad go Caiseal,
A' díol ná a' réic mo shláinte,
Ná 'r mhargadh na saoire im shuí cois falla,
Im scaoinse ar leataoibh sráide,
Bodairí na tíre a' téacht ar a gcapaill,
Dhá fhiathraí ' bhfuilim haidhráltha,
Seo téanam chun siúil, tá 'n cúrsa fada,
Seo ar siúl an Spailpín Fánach.

Go Calainn nuair ' théim 's mo hook im ghlaic
'S me 'nsúd i dtosach geárrtha,
'S nuair ' théim go Dúrlas sé 'n liú ' bhíonn acu,
Seo chughainn an Spailpín Fánach!
Cruinneó' mé ciall agus triallfad abhaile
Agus cloífead seal lem mhaithrín
'S go brách aríst ní glaofar m' ainm
Sa tír seo im Spailpín Fánach.

Mo chúig céad slán chun dúthaí m' athar
Agus chun an oileáin ghrámhair,
Is chun buachaillí na Cúlach, os dóibh nár mhiste
In aimsir chasta na ngárd' ann;
Ach anois ó tháim im chadhain bhocht dealbh
I measc na ndúichí fáin seo,
'S é mo chumha thrí mo chroí go bhfuair mé 'n ghairm
' Bheith riamh im Spailpín Fánach.

'S i gCiarraí 'n ghrinn do gheofaí an ainnir,
Go mb'fhonn le fear suí láimh léi,
'na mbeadh lasadh thrí lítis 'na gnaoí mar eala
'S a cúl fionn fada fáinneach,
A gile-phíb 's a héadan greanta
Is a béilín deas mar shnáthaid
'S muar go mb' fheárr liom í na straoill ó Chalainn
Go mbeadh na céadta púnt le fáil léi.

Dá dtagadh an Francach anall thar caise
Is a champa daingean, láidir,
Agus Boc Ó Gráda chúinn abhaile
Agus Tadhg bocht fial Ó Dála',
Bheadh bearaicí 'n rí go leir dá leagadh
Agus Yeomen againn da gcárnadh,
Go mbeadh Sasanaigh go fann is Clanna Ghael go teann
Agus Éire ag an Spailpín Fánach.


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: Lighter
Date: 10 Feb 14 - 08:38 PM

Great observations, Joe!


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: Joe_F
Date: 10 Feb 14 - 08:18 PM

It seems to me that there are two bits of folklore here:
1. Traveling men (bums in general; Gypsies, traveling salesmen, soldiers, & sailors in particular) have been around and are better at satisfying women sexually than homebodies are.
2. If you are hospitable to a traveling man, making him at home in your house or your body, he may turn out to be rich, or an angel (like the ones in Sodom), or an outlaw (Pretty Boy Floyd), and then you will be rewarded for your charity. Of course, he more likely will turn out not to be, but never mind; this is a very old & charming kind of propaganda.


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Feb 14 - 02:52 PM

I think I have said this once before Eliza
Racism in London, although common, tends to be passive - vocal rather than active.
I wish you both well.
However anti-Traveller the UK may be, it doesn't measure up in any way to that in Ireland.
You may have read recently of a Roma child being taken away from its parents by the authorities because it had blonde hair and blue eyes - they assumed the child had been kidnapped.
They were forced to returne the child to the family shortly afterwards - it remains to be seen if an enquiry is held into the affair
Let me say that not all Traveller police encounters were as grim as I've outlined.
Our first experience with Travellers was on a site at Ladbroke Grove in West London; it was a long L-shaped strip of waste land that stretched beneath the arterial road carrying traffic out of London to the West Country.
In those days the law was that illegally camped Travellers had to be served a two-week notice to quit, after which they would be escorted off by the police nd the Council.
The people we were recording had all been swerved notice and we went to witness and photograph the eviction.
The 30-odd familes put up no resistance and drove off dutifully.
A the task drew to a close one of the councilmen noticed a lone caravan at the L-junction in the distance.
As he walked towards it, it drove onto the site, followed by all the thirty-odd families who had just been evicted - they'd driven around the block and re-entered the site from the other end - winning another two weeks plus before they could be evicted again.
A few months later we met some of them in one of the poshest parts of London at Harrow-on-the Hill.
The family was taking part in protest overnight stops in order to draw attention to the lack of stopping places.
They had driven onto a piece of land in the centre of the town meaning to stay the night and leave the following day.
In a panic, the local council ordered a couple of enormous metal skips to block the entrance to the land in order to prevent more Travellers moving on.
As the skip delivery vehicle lowered the second skip into place, the operative's hand slipped and the skip fell out of control, wedging itself between the first one and a sturdy brick wall.
It was nearly a month before the council could arrange for the wall to be taken down, the skips removed and the Travellers sent on their way.
The incident made it's way into Traveller folklore.
Good days!!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 10 Feb 14 - 01:31 PM

We are lucky here in our area, my husband has met with no sort of racism. But next Monday he's going down to London on his own to renew his Ivory Coast passport. I'm not well enough to accompany him, but I've warned him to keep his head down, stay near shops etc (the Embassy is near Hyde Park) and get back home as soon as poss. I do hope he isn't hassled.


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Feb 14 - 01:13 PM

We recorded accounts of dawn raids on site with no other purpose than to make their stoping in the area uncomfortable
One friend, a singer named Mikeen McCarthy's fifteen year old song was stopped by the police in London, told he fitted the description of a suspected burglar in the Midlands, and driven to Birmingham, where he was released without charge and left to make his own way back to London.
It was a regular occurrence for Travellers to be asked to "donate" to the "police fund" in order to be left in peace.
I was told by a work-mate that his brother-in-law and friends intended to fire-bomb an illegal stopping place on Mitcham Common.
I went to the police and reported the matter
Luckily I also went to the local Travellers site where a Gypsy Concil man was stopping - he organised a watch on the on the site and the raid never took place.
As far as we knew, the police did nothing, but three weeks after we had reported it we had a visit from a lone policeman whose main interest was to find out why we were "consorting with these people in the first place".   
At the time we were working with Travellers the overwhelmingly most common crime was driving without tax and insurance, yet they were subject to regular harassment.
The Gypsy Councilman I mentioned once carried out an investigation into the piles of rubbish on their site (the oldest continually settled site in London - George Borrow wrote about it)   
The G.C. man traced the fridges, cookers, abandoned cars... etc, directly back to local householders who were using the site as a rubbish dump.
Sorry to go on so long - it really does get me going.
Van - I really do sympathise with your position - I lived in London long enough to know first hand that you are not alone in your situation
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: Van
Date: 10 Feb 14 - 09:08 AM

The degree of prejudice that still exists in society is hard to believe. After my wife died and I ended back on the market I went about with a Roma woman, east European, I then became aware of how she was treated and of how many people are not colour blind. Currently my companion is black (her choice of description) and again I see how we are treated, places it is better to avoid etc. It seems too easy to believe that all that disappeared years ago.


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 10 Feb 14 - 08:43 AM

Jim, I sympathise entirely with victims of overt and covert prejudice. As you know, my husband is a black African chap, and if ever I saw a half-hidden sign in a pub, cafe or restaurant 'No blacks served here' there'd be murder committed. And I applaud your defence of Roma, travellers and gypsies of all kinds. It's easy for those not involved to refuse to see the prejudice, and to say it doesn't exist. But the victims themselves must know, they're the ones who are ostracised and shunned. I think it's terrible that any group in our 'enlightened' society should be treated as inferior, unwelcome or fit for abuse. When will people grow up, civilise themselves and become kinder?


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 Feb 14 - 08:20 AM

☠☹☠☹☠☹☠☹☠☹☠☹☠☹☠☹☠☹☠☹☠

Aaaaaaaarrrrrrrggggggghhhhhghghhhh!!!

Crushed & wounded by the MORDANT< wit!!


Nothing for it ~~ Off Down The Garden To Eat Worms -- again!

And the really sad thing -- it really does think it's the Poossikatz Welligogs, you know. Big Head & Little Wit and predictable lefty wanker...

Oh, grow up, Carroll ··· infantile idiot that you are ··· & do the world a favour.

But don't forget you have nothing to say to me, will you now? Come on now. Self-control! Firm grip!...

Dere's a good boy...


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Feb 14 - 07:18 AM

"No need to upset each other."
I hope not Van - not on my part certainly.
I am well aware of the differences in culture of the various Travelling groups in Britain, though I sometimes think those differences are misunderstood.
For instance, our main experiences are with Irish and Scots Travellers who have been on the roads for many centuries and have their own strong distinctive cultures.
I can see no reason why differences in culture should act as a barrier between these groups and it disturbs me greatly when those differences are used to denigrate all Travellers: Gypsies, Rom, Tinker.... whoever.
All of their traditional ways of life are now faced with extinction at present and one of the ways to hurry that extinction has been to exploit the differences.
The London Roadside Travellers group was made up of English and Welsh Gypsies and Irish and Scots Travellers; together they won decent sites for London Travellers and nearly managed to get the racist signs removed - an important lesson, as far as I'm concerned.
Divide and conquer and bigotry have been the weapon of the establishment for a long time now.
Sorry about the noisy child in the background - we are expecting the baby-minder at any minute!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: Van
Date: 10 Feb 14 - 06:24 AM

Jim
I think that the point I was trying to make, rather clumsily was that my friends are Roma and are not travellers. They are treated as foreigners in their own countries. No need to upset each other.


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 Feb 14 - 05:49 AM

I'd pre-empted that comment; but did Ducky-Features notice?

And there he goes again, with his Big Head & his Little Wit, and his nothing to say to me! Talk about predictable!

Ain't he just the Dilly·Dilly·Duckling...!

AIN'T SHE SWEET?
(Milton Ager / Jack Yellen)

Ain't [s]he sweet?...
Now I ask you very confidentially
Ain't [s]he sweet?


teeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheehee···························


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Feb 14 - 05:40 AM

" O Big·Head·&·Little·Wit"
Tsk Tsk - second childhood showing again
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 Feb 14 - 05:26 AM

Then for pity's sake stop saying "nothing" to me. Don't you know what "nothing" means?

AND, as I said, I shall decide what I may have to say as I see fit, to whomever I may see fit, without soliciting the leave of you, O Big·Head·&·Little·Wit*

☺〠☺~M~☺〠☺


*(character, in case you didn't know, in some Mummers' Plays, so appropriate here on a folk forum -- esp for you!)


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Feb 14 - 04:49 AM

Sorry - misposted
I have given you the facts of the notices as I understand and experienced them, just as I gave similar information to your ethnic cleansing friend when he deliberately opened a thread to prove they never existed - he still maintains that argument.
Look up his "reasoned and intelligent" arguments on the matter if you wish - I'm sure they're still on file.
As I said - we have nothing to say to each other (my version of a "long spoon" I suppose).
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 Feb 14 - 04:49 AM

Then why are you saying it, pray? You could at least try to be consistent: but in this instance, after several exchanges, this seems a particularly crass get-out when losing an argument.

Personally I don't give a flying u·no·wot if you speak to me or not. Sulk in your corner if you choose. But I remain a free agent, & shall address you or not as I choose. So live with it.

& ɷɷɷɷɷ's 2U.

Another of my infantile manifestations for you to feel so superior about in your monumental dignity ~~ always willing to oblige!

❤♥~M~♥❤


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Feb 14 - 04:39 AM

As I said Mike - we have nothing to say to each other
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 Feb 14 - 04:09 AM

... and I have already said, see above 9 feb 0147pm, that I make no denial of the fact that there have been far too many examples of disgracefully discriminatory signs outside pubs [& all sorts of other venues]. I just maintain this to have been an ill-chosen example.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 Feb 14 - 04:04 AM

"a number of people who have the CD have commented on the notice, you are the only one who has ever raised a question about its interpretation -

ah well, I suppose some people only see what they want to."
.,,.
Indeed, Jim. But works both ways, perhaps, in re yourselves & those who have commented previously?

Think about it...


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 Feb 14 - 03:55 AM

... and note following from 'sensagent' dictionary website ~~

synonyms - sales representative
sales representative (n.)

bagman, representative, roadman, salesman, salesperson, sales rep, saleswoman, commercial traveler (American), commercial traveller (British), rep (informal, abbreviation), traveler (American), traveling salesman (American), traveling saleswoman (American), traveller (ellipsis, British), travelling salesman (British), travelling saleswoman (British)


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Feb 14 - 03:52 AM

"Pity you didn't get a pic of the original one then, Jim"
The photo was chosen, as all the other were, in relation to our work with the singers on the CD
It was a pub that had refused service to all of them at one time or another and its wording was a running joke between them - "Must go and make an appointment....!" was an indication that they were heading off for a drink.
The photograph was taken about three years after the campaign to remove the notices had ceased and remained there several years longer.
Far from there being only one interpretation, a number of people who have the CD have commented on the notice, you are the only one who has ever raised a question about its interpretation - ah well, I suppose some people only see what they want to.
Maybe I'm naive in believing that anybody who has had anything to do with Traveller singers were aware of the continuing forms of prejudice still operating against them.
You remain unconvinced?
In the early eighties the areas in East London where we were recording Travellers was bristling with "No Traveller" signs - we could spend half a night looking for pubs along the Mile End Road that would serve us when we went for a drink with Travellers.
The London Roadside Group, with the support of The GLC, a couple of Students and a friendly solicitor, mounted a campaign to get the signs removed.
Hackney Council, then Labour controlled, gave them its support and sent representatives around to visit those with signs and put pressure on them to take them down - most did, in view of having their to apply for renewal of their licences.
That particular pub did what some of them did and toned down the wording, first it changed it to "no troublesome Travellers" and after further pressure, settled on that one - and continued to refuse to serve Travellers up to the point when Major and his mob removed the somewhat leaky umbrella of the 1968 Caravan and Camping Act, and all the Travellers we knew fled London in panic - the beginning of the ethnic cleansing of Travellers in Britain.
Those were, of course, the halcyon days before Thatcher (would-be Mrs Pinochet) and her thugs got her claws into peoples' consciences.   
"You mix with your people, I mix with mine"
I mix with anybody Van - I don't ask for copies of their family trees before I drink with them.
Takes all kinds.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 Feb 14 - 03:29 AM

... e.g, google this ref ~~~


http://www.bigdug.co.uk/safety-signs-labels-c425/general-information-signs-c509/representatives-by-appointment-only-safety-signs-pp3638


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 Feb 14 - 03:19 AM

Pity you didn't get a pic of the original one then, Jim. The present one as shown is not 'ambiguous', but can only have the interpretation I put on it. Nobody, but nobody, makes an 'appointment' to get served in a pub; but a sign refusing to see reps except by appointment is quite usual. I remain entirely unconvinced unless you can produce a pic of the sign you claim the pub to have been 'forced' [by whom, pray?] to replace with this one.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: Van
Date: 09 Feb 14 - 09:54 PM

Jim,
I don't think that my Roma friends would see me as racist. They would certainly not wish to be confused with travellers. You mix with your people, I mix with mine.


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Feb 14 - 03:04 PM

"It clearly refers to sales reps, or, in earlier parlance"
No it doesn't Mike - the pub was forced to take down the No Travellers sign and put up an ambiguous one
Taking the photo was part of the campaign to get the signs made illegal
We really are aware of the circumstances in the area it was taken.
Get a little tired of people who don't like or know Travellers telling us what's what - haven't forgotten your support for the ethnic cleanser.
Sorry - us boring people tend to have long memories.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 09 Feb 14 - 01:55 PM

Several of Dorothy L Sayers 1930s detective short stories, apart from the better-known Lord Peter Wimsey series, feature one Montague Egg, an observant "traveller in wines & spirits" -- a respectable and hardworking young middle-class salesman, well-known at the pubs, hotels and catering establishments which he visits, always by appointment.


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 09 Feb 14 - 01:47 PM

I doubt strongly whether "Travellers by appointment only" has anything to do with "travellers" in the sense of gypsies, Roma, The Travelling People, &c [what sort of "appointments" would any of these be required to make, & for what purpose? to get served in the bar -- oh, come on!].

It clearly refers to sales reps, or, in earlier parlance, "commercial travellers", who would call, often, unless pre-empted by an appointments system, at inconvenient times, trying to sell particular branded drinks &c to the publican —— Represented in popular memory by Clarence Wright's "Good morning! Nice day!" character in Tommy Handley's popular ITMA* comic programme of the 1940s.

I don't deny that there have been many offensive notices on pub doors regarding who wasn't welcome within. But this is clearly not an example of one of them.

~M~

*= "It's That Man Again". Nothing to do with the Irish Traditional Music Association ~~ I recall a thread on that somewhat unfortunate confusion not all that long since!


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Feb 14 - 03:16 AM

Van
Have got out more - thirty odd years more, so please don't tell...grandmother - eggs etc.
In the xenophobic world that we live in today - where it has become almost a crime to be 'different' "Real Gypsies" has become a form of racism - sometimes a frighting as Aryan - non Aryan.
We've seen this up close over the three decades we worked with Travellers.
Basically there is no important difference between the life-styles and problems of all Travellers today - they are all subject to extreme persecution.
We saw the results of this demonstrated in a spectacular fashion in London in the 1980s.
A group of Irish Travellers we were recording set up an organisation called 'The London Roadside Travellers', aimed at improving conditions for those residing mainly in East London.
They campaigned for permanent halting sites for the large number of mixed English, Scots Welsh and Irish Travellers in the area and won the support of the GLC and one of the local Councils, who entered into negotiations with the Government to raise money to establish several sites.
When some of these were completed the Council came to the group and told them they were unable to deal with them so they were not officially recognised - they would only turn the sites over to The Gypsy Council - the English Travellers group.
The Gypsy Council, who in those days adopted the "real Gypsy" line, turned the new sites over to English Gypsies, who by and large were still travelling in the rural areas surrounding London.
After a short time of settling the sites, the new occupants decided to move back on the road en-mass and sold their sites to the people who had fought for them in the first place.
Travellers are travellers and until that fact is recognised that they all share the same problems, the real and non Gypsy nonsense will continue to act as a divide-and-conquer crowbar to keep travellers in the squalid conditions in which they are forced to live.
Please don't try to tell me that I need to "get out more" - been there - done that, don't need to rely on romantic and mystical garbage.
One of the most telling statements to come out of the Radio Ballad, The Travelling people was when the Midlands resident house-dweller told the interviewer - "They can't be bothered to live like us... they're not real gypsies anyway - cue Spanish guitars and clicking castanets!!!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: Van
Date: 08 Feb 14 - 10:02 PM

Jim get out more there are real Gypsies out there. Not travellers, and never confuse the two. I have three friends, two of whom call themselves Roma and one who calls herself a Gypsy. They are from Eastern Europe where they are regarded as a separate race. They call themselves my three wives. There is a fourth recently wishing to join us.


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Feb 14 - 01:15 PM

Look down the notes for Pat's photograph of the pub door window -still common in parts of England.
The photo was taken during a travellers campaign to make such signs illegal - nowadays they take the form of "no Travellers served" hung on mirrors behind bars and quickly removed if a policeman or official looking individual comes in
Jim Carroll
http://www.mustrad.org.uk/articles/puck.htm


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 08 Feb 14 - 12:44 PM

I should think it did leave an unpleasant taste in your mouth Jim. It never ceases to amaze me, the lengths some people will go to in their (usually totally ignorant) condemnation of their fellow men/women. It's evil in my opinion. Any hatred is evil. And the travellers, gypsies etc require what any of us do, a decent place to sleep, clean and sanitary toilet facilities, safety and peace. But above all, kindness and understanding from their fellow human beings. I saw a lot of nastiness while prison visiting. The non-travelling inmates hated the travellers and called them Pykies. They said they were dirty and dishonest(!!!!) (This from serial burglars and drug dealers who actually had the most disgusting ways of concealing drugs, needles etc.) Kindness is rather an old-fashioned concept nowadays, but I think it's the most important virtue to have and cultivate.
Best wishes to you too Jim.
Eliza


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Feb 14 - 11:15 AM

I don't think that you do Eliza - sorry for giving the impression that I did, but much of what you are describing is taken by many to be how "real Gypsies" should be, and castigate those who aren't, which creats problems.
We've been on idyllic sites (especially when its not raining) where Travellers have been given a reasonable site and good facilities and are happw where they are - the Winterbourne site outside Bristol was the last time we worked in depth with a singer - magic!
However, our main experiences were in urban settings with rat-infested sites with no running water and sanitation, constant harassment by the police and a permanent fear of having bricks, or even fire bombs thrown through their windows.
The John Major Government did away with the legal requirement for all councils to provide sites and Travellers today are no longer protected by the law as far as having something as fundamental as having a place to stop is concerned.
Things are ten times worse in Ireland - in our town, the police have been known to visit all the pubs when Travellers are seen in the area and instruct the publicans to lock the doors and only allow people they recognise onto the premises - failure to do so means that police will not respond to calls for assistance should trouble break out.
"their own name for themselves"
I'm always a little wary of this - I'm well aware of the different origins of various groups of Travellers, but I've seen far too often these differences being used by Gypsies "It wasn't us - it must have been the "tinks, nackers, pavvies, mumphers..." or whatever abusive term people have for non-settled families.   
English Gypsies were notorious for this sort of scapegoating prejudice at one time.
In reality, there are very few pure-bred Gypsies nowadays - there haven't been for along time.
Today's Travellers all face the same problem - getting a decent stopping place and being treated as human beings.
Sorry to have given the wrong interpretation of your views and experiences, if I have - just coming to the end of a very unpleasant argument with someone who is supporting the ethnic cleansing of Israeli Bedouins - it's left a nasty taste in my mouth
Best wishes
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 08 Feb 14 - 09:36 AM

Jim, but those were 'real' gypsies that I described, not an image of them. Their lives were lived in front of our noses (well, parked on the green for some weeks in our district) And one other point:- they obviously chose that existence (as do gypsies today) After all, if life on the road was too arduous for them, there was nothing to stop them putting down roots and getting jobs. Just after the war there were jobs galore for able-bodied men. Schools were and are free. Houses could be rented. My father rented ours and worked hard to pay the rent. Their existence was their choice, so presumably they liked things that way. I'm just saying that we felt no animosity towards them. If they didn't want to present this 'image', why on earth go round in beautifully painted horse-drawn caravans, wearing unusual clothes and speaking a strange language? If one persists in being different, and I'm all for that, then people will romanticise and fantasise about ones life. Nowadays of course they face racism, ostracism and antagonism.
By the way, in the house at the bottom of our garden lives a gypsy family (their own name for themselves) who have decided to settle in our village. They keep hens and we buy their eggs. Their 2 small children are delightful. Dad looks like a pirate with a large ring in one ear and a coloured scarf round his head. He helped my husband mend our fence last year. So please don't think that 1) I know nothing about gypsies 'in the flesh' or 2) I have any prejudices about them.


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Feb 14 - 09:10 AM

Just completed this note in preparation for putting our Clare song collection up on the County Library website in a couple of months
Will be tackling 'The Whistling Gypsy later
Always though the idea of someone running off with a good looking woman common sense and good taste - can't see where the prejudice comes in.
Eliza
Your Borrowesque description of Gypsy life has been the plague of real Gypsies existence for centuries.
I agree with you about the 'over-sensitivity', but George Borrow created a hell of an image for them to live up to.   
Jim Carroll

Auld Scoláire Hat – Susie Cleary
This was written as 'My Old Killarney Hat', by Dublin baritone songwriter, Leo Maguire (1903 – 1985)
Maguire was born in Dublin's inner city, trained as a baritone under Vincent O'Brien, John McCormack's voice teacher. For many years he performed with the Dublin Operatic Society
He wrote over 100 songs, his best known being "The Whistling Gypsy", a rewrite if the Child Ballad 'The Gypsy Laddie' (Child200)
Maguire also wrote parodies and humorous songs under the name Sylvester Gaffney.


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 08 Feb 14 - 05:50 AM

I remember as a small girl listening to this song on the radio, and really loving it. Just after the war, where I lived in Middlesex (west of London) a huge procession of pony-drawn traditional 'gypsy' caravans arrived every Spring and drew up on our central green. These folk were always called The Gypsies, and the general feeling was pleasure that they'd come again, just like the swallows. They were a part of our seasonal life. The women would come round selling pegs and bunches of heather etc, and were received with courtesy and kindness on the whole. My mother (being Irish) was always glad to see them and have a natter. Gypsies were seen as romantic and their life as very attractive and carefree (it was probably hard in reality though!). This song could be summed up in that one word - Romantic. A Gypsy man would be regarded as exotic, handsome (because they were quite dark-skinned and had a healthy look from outdoor living) and yes, sexy. There was no intention or undertone of prejudice, racism, despising or any other nasty attitude. It is just an expression of a young woman's feeling of freedom and earthiness at being with a man like that. People are far too over-sensitive and find offence where there never was any, not in those halcyon days anyway.


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: GUEST,John Cowan
Date: 08 Feb 14 - 03:51 AM

I heard this performed in Scottish Gaelic by a singer named Kennedy at the Spencertown Academy in New York State, probably back in the 80s. He explained that this was the "wife runs away, husband goes after her, captures her and her lover, kills him, locks her in a hut for the rest of her life" version from which the modern Gypsy Rover descends. He had a very haunting voice, though I couldn't follow one word of the lyrics.


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: romany man
Date: 15 Sep 08 - 05:21 PM

thank you richard hope you well


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 15 Sep 08 - 01:44 PM

Oh, good riposte, Romany Man!


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 15 Sep 08 - 11:14 AM

The whistling gypsy came over the hill.....

quite a trick, mind you I could do stuff like that when I was younger.


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: romany man
Date: 15 Sep 08 - 10:03 AM

oh look something else we cant do, i will add that one to the list


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 15 Sep 08 - 05:56 AM

I'm predjudiced against anybody who whistles. My father used to whisle a lot, and he was part gypsy. Can't bleeding rove far enough as far I'm concerned, once they start whistling.

I suppose if you are a Whistling Gypsy Rover, and that's your gig - fair enough - but someone like Roger Whittaker, I can see no excuse for.


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: romany man
Date: 15 Sep 08 - 05:46 AM

As i sit quietly reading threads (yes i can read and do joined up writing) I am amazed at how often threads turn to the travelling fraternity, most ideas are split, we are either theiving no good na'do wells, or we are a romantic musical people with a way of life others aspire to, well folks , we react to given situations, we can be either, but hey dont put us all in one box, our history (in uk) goes back into the deep dark realms, often we had to poach, rob or beg to live, but we are a proud race, we like to work for our crust. We tend to stick together wether settled or travelling, sadly thanks to legilation, its hard to travel, there are no more stopping places those that do travel often harrassed to the point of madness, as for the threads relating to irish and the like travellers, yes there is a difference, between all of us, also, the owning of land issue is a case in point, many romanies have bought land thinking they would be able to live on it, i can only quote a case that my family were involved in, uncle bought land next to a non gypsy man who had three mobile homes on it and a trnsport company parking their lorries in it, uncle thought planning permission would be a doddle, oh no, he was told outright, NO GYPSIES ever got planning here, well 20 years later, still no planning, BUT we got a letter last week offering to buy the land so that a major housing developer could put 20 houses on the site, HHMM prejudice ? oh no just business, and how many of you want a gypsy living next door, daily we face prejudice and even on tv the PC brigade allow the calling of names directed at us, watch the top gear reruns where they take a caravan on the road, listen for the number of times james may calls us "pikeies" etc, No folks the life of a gypsy has never been easy and never will, we know it , what can we do nothing.
Back to the song we tend to "own" the land we are stopping on, not literally but as we are there at that point of time all we roam on is ours, then when we leave its only remembered as a good stopping place or a bad one, so he could have been the lord at that time,
the times that the song relates to are long gone, but we all tend to put todays thought on old writings,


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: Scrump
Date: 31 Jan 07 - 04:30 AM

Certainly we shouldn't look for modern mores in songs which are centuries old. Everyone is a child of their time.

I agree. One problem is that some people do this, i.e. try to apply modern 'rules' to old songs, and try to stop people singing them for fear of offending people. Yes, there are some songs that would be offensive because of the language used, but others where it's not so easy to draw the line between what is offensive. As was said in another thread recently, there would be very few old songs we could sing if we take this modern 'puritanism' to extremes, as some folk are wont to do.

As long as the singer is aware of the song's context in history, and sensitive to modern views, and takes the trouble to explain to the audience, I don't see a problem myself (with the exception of certain songs which may be directly insulting to people).

In the case of the Whistling Gypsy / Gypsy Rover, I never really thought of it as being offensive. I thought of the 'gypsy' as a romantic, roving blade type of character, which seems complimentary to me rather than derogatory, but I suppose it depends on your view.

I think the song mocks the rich father for looking down on the gypsy, and trying to stop his daughter running off with him, rather than being derogatory to the 'gypsy' himself, or the gypsy people. The message I get from it is that the daughter fell in love with a man she believed to be a gypsy, and it was only later she found out he was a rich man in disguise (or something like that).

Similar to "Hi for the Beggarman", where a beggar turns out to be rich. Again the story is about a girl who falls for a poor man (the beggar) and pokes fun at her parents for trying to stop the match. The message is "love is more important than money".

(Apologies if these points were made above, I only had time to skim through the posts).


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: Tradsinger
Date: 31 Jan 07 - 04:22 AM

One gypsy I knew objected to hearing the song 'Raggle Taggle Gypsies' as he considered that description to be demeaning to gypsies. Interesting.


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: dianavan
Date: 31 Jan 07 - 04:12 AM

Very interesting thread.

I think it must have been written by an Irish traveller.

I think the daughter was saying,

Don't call him a gypsy father, he was born of this earth, and everywhere he steps he becomes the prince of the earth. He is welcomed with wine and song in mansions finer than your own.

To me it fits with the travellers philosophy and maybe even their history of metal workers in the castles of ancient kings. Of course a father would not want his daughter to run off with a landless, musician but she says he is lord of all.


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: Gurney
Date: 31 Jan 07 - 01:42 AM

The version under discussion seems to me to be prejudiced all right, but not about race but about position. She runs off with 'one of them' but it turns out ok, because he's really 'one of us!'

The whole thing is just a variant in a huge family of songs, in many of which the father/husband challenges the lover to a duel (and wins) or simply runs the bloke through, and sometimes her as well, for talking back. This is one that ends happily, so perhaps we shouldn't knock it.

Certainly we shouldn't look for modern mores in songs which are centuries old. Everyone is a child of their time.


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: Jim Lad
Date: 31 Jan 07 - 12:47 AM

The gypsies who camped around my neck of the woods weren't int PC all that much either.


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 05:01 PM


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: GUEST,memyself
Date: 13 Nov 06 - 09:00 AM

That gypsy is always going to be Violag to me!


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Subject: RE: Whistling Gypsy - prejudice?
From: skarpi
Date: 13 Nov 06 - 01:27 AM

hallo all

VIÐLAG: = CHORUS

ð and þ are used in Icelandic both letters

all the best Skarpi Iceland


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